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Independent Russian Pollster Fined For Not Registering As 'Foreign Agent'


Levada Center director Lev Gudkov says he will appeal the ruling.

Levada Center director Lev Gudkov says he will appeal the ruling.

A court in Moscow has fined the independent national pollster Levada Center for refusing to register as a "foreign agent."

The court ruled on October 26 that the Levada Center had to pay a fine of 300,000 rubles ($4,800).

Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center, said he will appeal the ruling.

In September, Russia's Justice Ministry branded the pollster a foreign agent.

The Levada Center is one of Russia’s largest nongovernmental polling and research organizations. It has published surveys that have irked Russian authorities.

A Russian law adopted in 2012 requires any nongovernmental organization that receives funding from abroad and engages in political activity to formally register as a "foreign agent."

Russian and international human rights organizations have said the law was introduced to silence independent voices.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
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